If eating a purely vegan diet is new to you, or maybe you’re interested in incorporating more plant-based meals, you may be wondering how you can possibly survive a vegan Thanksgiving! After all, it’s a holiday where dairy-based dishes like mashed potatoes, green bean casserole, and pumpkin pie are highlights – and let’s not forget the focal point of the meal, the turkey!
You may have already realized that as a vegan, finding food to enjoy at celebrations, (and dining out of the house in general), is typically not easy. In fact, you may have had to leave parties dissatisfied or hungry because there simply wasn’t enough plant-based food for you to eat.
In this article, we’ll discuss our favorite ways that you can combat this problem, and enjoy a decadent vegan Thanksgiving with your family and friends. (Hint: Our favorite tip is to have a delicious plant-based meal replacement shake smoothie before you head out!)
Read on for our top tips for rocking an amazing vegan Thanksgiving (whether you’re hosting or attending)!
Tips for a Seamless Vegan Thanksgiving
If you’re following a vegan diet (or you’re interested in one), you know that it means all foods that come from animals are off the menu. But this doesn’t have to mean a bland or complicated Thanksgiving feast. It’s actually quite simple to make delicious vegan Thanksgiving fare… just check out these tips below:
1. Bring your favorite dishes
If you’re going somewhere else for Thanksgiving, you’re going to want to enter prepared, and that’s okay! Going armed with some delicious vegan Thanksgiving recipes means that you’ll know exactly what you’re going to eat, and you won’t have to stress about not finding something. Need some inspiration? Check out these 5 delicious vegan recipes that will satisfy plant and meat-eaters alike (it also includes a bonus dessert)!
2. Don’t call them “vegan”
If you’re excited to show off some amazing meatless recipes at your Thanksgiving celebration, that’s great, but not everyone is informed about a vegan lifestyle. Many people don’t realize that many vegan dishes contain a lot of the same ingredients they’re already eating – and they may be scared away from the new territory. Wait until they enjoy the food (and love it), to offer up that they are actually plant-based. We think your friends and family will be pleasantly surprised!
3. Shake up your morning
One thing that vegans and vegetarians have in common with meat-eaters is that both can still overindulge on Thanksgiving day. Even if the only food you eat is healthy, calories are still calories and you can have too many of them! Set yourself up for success by starting your day with a plant-based meal replacement shake smoothie filled with metabolism-boosting and energizing protein, satisfying fiber, and lots of vitamins and minerals. With a great start like that, you’ll be ready to indulge later in the day… but not so famished that you eat more than is comfortable!
4. Ask for help
If you aren’t hosting (but you know the host very well) don’t be afraid to ask if they can make a few dishes vegan, as they probably don’t realize how incredibly simple it can be. For instance, mashed potatoes can be made vegan with vegan butter instead of regular dairy butter, plus plain cashew milk instead of cow’s milk. In addition, roasted veggies with olive oil is a great, easy vegan Thanksgiving side. As for salads, just have them put any cheese or meat toppings on the side!
5. Be positive
Thanksgiving, (and holidays in general), is a time that should bring people together, but often, as a vegan, you can feel isolated or set apart. Although there will likely be some Thanksgiving foods that you can’t eat over the holiday (unless you’re hosting your own celebration), focus more on the people and less on the food – you’ll have more fun and connect better with everyone around you!
Are you excited to host or attend a vegan Thanksgiving after reading these tips? Let us know in the comments, below!
Don't forget to check out these 5 Vegan Thanksgiving Recipes so you can try them out this year!